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15 Life Lessons Learned From Primatologist Jane Goodall

15 Life Lessons Learned From Primatologist Jane Goodall

In the world of biology, Jane Goodall is one of the biggest rockstars, drawing huge crowds and attention everywhere she goes. Having dedicated her life to the study of chimpanzees and crusading to save our planet, Goodall’s work is full of passion and meaning. Here are a few lessons we can learn from her.

Make time to read

Though she often has little time to spare, Goodall always reads a few chapters of a book every night. She credits reading Tarzan and the Apes to putting her on her path to explore Africa. Reading was also responsible for one of her greatest opportunities: when she met Louis Leakey she impressed him with her vast knowledge of Africa-knowledge she had obtained solely from books.

Value your family

Goodall frequently travels with her family and cites her mother as one of her biggest inspirations. As a child growing up she was always exploring and asking questions. Instead of scolding her or trying to suppress her curiosity, her mother encouraged Goodall, something she says is the reason why she was able to be so successful.

Don’t let school get in the way of your education

Goodall went from secretary school straight to getting her doctorate degree. Leakey famously told her that she couldn’t waste the time getting an undergraduate degree; she had to go straight to the top of academics. That had to be intimidating for a young girl back then with no training other than as a secretary, with most of her knowledge being self taught. But under her supervisor’s guidance she excelled and went on to change the science world forever.

Treasure this earth

Goodall is a famous activist for wildlife preservation. She has seen firsthand what is being done to this earth and she uses her position to mitigate it. Goodall has written several books about our planet’s decline as well as ways that we can restore it. She even started a group Roots and Shoots, an international community action based program, to help teach children about what is going on and how they can help.

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    Leave a legacy

    Roots and Shoots is just a part of the greater Jane Goodall Institute. The JGI is a nonprofit founded by Jane Goodall that empowers others to make a difference in this world. The institute focuses on preservation, alleviating poverty, increasing education and sustainable living. Through the JGI and programs like Roots and Shoots, the legacy of Jane Goodall will live on and help to make the world a better place.

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      Practice compassion

      Goodall has seen her share of horrific practices and treatment of chimpanzees and other species. She dedicated her life to studying and helping these creatures but focused her charity only on animals. One day on a flight over Gombe National Park she saw the abject poverty the people there lived in. She realized then that until a person could feed their families they wouldn’t care about saving animals and that it was irrational to ask starving men to stop poaching when it was their only way of making money. She has since extended her charities to helping humanity and eradicating poverty.

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        Don’t just theorize, act

        Goodall is not just theory and talk, she is about action. Her institute is at the forefront of bringing the inhumane treatment of animals to the public’s attention. Her most recent crusade is urging aquariums around the world to phase out the practice of keeping beluga whales and dolphins in captivity.

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        Persistence pays off

        Goodall’s work in Tanzania was arduous and slow, getting familiar with chimpanzees to let her get close enough to observe them before collecting the data and defending her methodology. But eventually her persistence payed off and entire scientific volumes have been written about her discoveries. She even discovered that chimpanzees used modified tools — a trait beforehand only given to distinguish humans.

        There are many teachers in life

        Not all of Goodall’s learning was from books or academics. She gives credit to a dog named Rusty and the chimpanzees she worked with for teaching her compassion and that animals can have unique personalities too. Goodall gave her chimpanzees names and wrote their personalities down as scientific notes! She believes that science must become more empathetic or we will miss crucial elements of what we are studying.

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          Your comfort zone is just a suggestion

          The average chimpanzee is 3-5 times stronger than an average human. Picture a young Jane Goodall, no protection, no weapons, sitting just a few feet from foraging chimps — now that’s getting out of your comfort zone! She was in very real danger, enduring charges by the males, as well as the elements and diseases of Africa including Malaria and African sleeping sickness. Goodall proves that only by getting out of our comfort zone can we achieve greatness.

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            Age does not define you

            Jane Goodall is almost 81 years old yet she travels more than 300 days a year. She marches in protests, she speaks at schools and conferences, and she is personally involved in her institute all at an age well past retirement. Her strong sense of purpose and determination enables her to do things most never dream of at an age that most don’t think they’ll ever reach.

            You can get more done together

            Goodall is famous for saying that the best way to deal with your enemy is to make them your friend. She has met with heads of the logging industry, petroleum and even lab scientists to listen and exchange ideas and from those meetings real change has occurred. She has recently partnered with Google to bring views of Gombe National Park to every computer screen on earth in an effort to raise awareness of the plight of chimpanzees around the world. She also partners with several local groups in Africa and starts Roots and Shoots programs to get more people involved.

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              Technology can connect us and teach us

              Along with her partnership with Google, Goodall also uses online platforms like Twitter and YouTube to raise awareness and spread her message. The JGI releases animal videos that go viral; the more they are shared the more people cannot ignore their messages and the faster change happens.

              Sometimes luck plays a huge role

              While Goodall is an incredibly hard worker with legendary determination, luck did play a role in her career. Her mother encouraged her to go to secretary school. She was then chosen to be the secretary for Louis Leakey, a famous scientist and explorer. She impressed Leakey so much that he mentored her and encouraged her to get her PhD and continue her research. Without this chain of events, who knows what Goodall’s life would have led to?

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              Never give up hope

              The most important message Goodall gives is to never, never, never give up hope. Hope is the one thing that keeps her going, the main reason she founded the JGI. She has hope in mankind and in the future. She believes that the combined efforts of the human brain, the indomitable human spirit, the resiliency of nature and the determination of young people can and will bring this planet back and stop the extinction of species and the decimation of the wild

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                I had the honor of meeting Dr. Goodall when she came to speak at Georgia State University. What struck me at first was how frail she seemed, she is almost 81 after all. But from the moment she opened her mouth and gave out a loud female chimpanzee greeting call I knew she was a force to be reckoned with. Her life gives us many lessons about love, compassion, determination, change, and truly living. But the main message to take away is to never give up hope.

                Featured photo credit: Jane visits the World Bank via flickr.com

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                Trending in Communication

                1 How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner 2 12 Surprising Benefits of Learning a New Language 3 5 Powerful Ways for Building Fulfilling Relationships 4 How a Lack of Communication Can Cost Your Career 5 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

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                Last Updated on October 17, 2019

                How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

                How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

                You see your partner every single day. They are the first person you talk to in the morning and the last person you kiss goodnight.

                But does seeing each other day in and day out equal a healthy relationship? Not necessarily.

                Spending quality time with your partner is the best way to ensure your relationship stays healthy and strong. This means going above and beyond sitting together while you watch Netflix or going out for the occasional dinner. You deserve more from your relationship – and so does your spouse!

                What does quality time mean? It means spending time with your spouse without interruption. It’s a chance for you to come together and talk. Communication will build emotional intimacy and trust.

                Quality time is also about expressing love in a physical way. Not sex, necessarily (but that’s great, too!) but through hand-holding, cuddling, caressing, and tickling. Studies show that these displays of affection will boost partner satisfaction.[1]

                So how do you spend quality time with your partner? Here are 13 relationship tips on making the most out of your time with your partner.

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                1. Recognize the Signs

                If you want a healthy relationship, you have to learn how to recognize the signs that you need to spend more quality time together.

                Some telltale signs include:

                • You’re always on your phones.
                • You value friendships or hobbies over quality time with your spouse.
                • You aren’t together during important events.
                • You are arguing more often or lack connection.
                • You don’t make plans or date nights.
                • You’re not happy.

                If you are experiencing any of these relationship symptoms, know that quality time together can reverse the negative effects of the signs above.

                2. Try New Things Together

                Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument or speak another language? How about skydive or ballroom dance?

                Instead of viewing these as solo hobbies and interests, why not involve your partner?

                Trying new activities together builds healthy relationships because it encourages spouses to rely on one another for emotional and physical support.

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                Shared hobbies also promote marital friendship, and the Journal of Happiness Studies found that marital satisfaction was twice as high for couples who viewed each other as best friends.[2]

                3. Schedule in Tech-Free Time

                Your phone is a great way to listen to music, watch videos, and keep up-to-date with friends and family. But is your phone good for your relationship?

                Many couples phone snub, or ‘phub’, one another. Studies show that phubbing can lower relationship satisfaction and increase one’s chances of depression.[3]

                Reduce those chances by removing distractions when spending quality time together and showing your partner they have your full attention.

                4. Hit the Gym as a Couple

                One way you can spend more time together as a couple is by becoming workout partners. Studies show that couples are more likely to stay with their exercise routine if they work out together.[4] Couples also work out harder than they would solo. One study found that 95 percent of couples who work out together maintained weight loss compares to the 66 percent of singles who did.[5]

                Join a gym, do at-home couples’ workouts, try couples yoga, hit the hiking trails, or get your bikes out. No matter which way you choose to exercise, these healthy activities can promote a healthy relationship.

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                5. Cook Meals Together

                Pop open a bottle of wine or put some romantic music on while you get busy – in the kitchen, of course!

                One of the best relationship tips for spending quality time together when you both have busy schedules is to cook meals together.[6]

                Spice things up and try and prepare a four-course meal or a fancy French dish together. Not only is this a fun way to spend your time together, but it also promotes teamwork.

                If all goes well, you’ll have a romantic date night meal at home that you prepared with your four hands. And if the food didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you are guaranteed to have a laugh and create new memories together.

                6. Have a Regular Date Night

                Couples experience a greater sense of happiness and less stress when they are spending quality time together.[7] One of the biggest relationship tips for a healthy partnership is to include a date night in your weekly routine.

                The National Marriage Project found that having a weekly date night can make your relationship seem more exciting and helps prevent relationship boredom.[8] It also lowers the probability of divorce, improves your sex life, and increases healthy communication.

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                Some great ideas for what to do on your date night include:

                • Have a movie marathon – Gather up your favorite flicks and cuddle up on the couch.
                • Play games together – Cards, board games, video games, and other creative outlets are a fun way to spend quality time together.
                • Recreate your first date – Go back to that restaurant and order the same meal you did when you first got together. You can spice up your evening by pretending you’re strangers meeting for the first time and see how sexy the night gets.
                • Plan a weekend getaway – There’s nothing better than traveling with the one you love.
                • Dinner and a movie – A classic!
                • Try a new restaurant – Make it your mission to rate and try all of the Mexican restaurants/Irish pubs/Italian trattorias in your area.
                • Have a long sex session – Intimacy promotes the release of the oxytocin hormone which is responsible for a myriad of great feelings.[9]

                Here’re even more date night ideas for your reference: 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

                Final Thoughts

                The benefits of spending quality time together are endless. Here are just some of the ways it can contribute to a healthy relationship:

                • Improves emotional and physical intimacy
                • Lowers divorce rates
                • Improves communication
                • Reduces marital boredom
                • Bonds couples closer
                • Improves friendship
                • Boosts health
                • Reduces stress

                These are all excellent reasons to start making date night a regular part of your week.

                It’s easy to have a healthy relationship when you set aside dedicated time to share with your spouse. Try new things together, make your spouse your workout buddy, and look for innovative ways to be close and connected.

                These relationship tips will bring great benefits to your marriage.

                Featured photo credit: Allen Taylor via unsplash.com

                Reference

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